A world of information but what is trustworthy?

It can be hard for students to sort fact from fiction.
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It can be hard for students to sort fact from fiction.

A Massey University professor is leading a group granted nearly $500,000 to help pupils sort out what's reliable information and what's not.

"What we need is citizens who are information-literate. You can't function in today's society without being information-literate," Lisa Emerson, from Palmerston North, said.

"Our children are working more and more in a digital space, and the amount of information available on any discipline expands exponentially." 

There was a world of information, but pupils needed the skills to work out what was likely to be good information.

"It's something that is relevant and vitally important, and needs to be taught."

She describes information literacy as "the ability to identify information needs, locate and critique information and then use it in a way that suits your needs".

Researchers from five tertiary institutes and nine secondary schools will take part in the three-year project. The first resources available for schools will be developed this year and a series of resources will be tailored for year 12 pupils up to second-year tertiary education students.

"We are working primarily with schools ... with teachers and librarians to develop partnerships and it will be their work to go and take it into the classroom.

"It should be integrated into a range of disciplines ... the sciences, social studies and right across the disciplines," she said.

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